How Relationships Affect Your Brain – Health Digest

Most people would agree that falling in love can feel pretty euphoric. Some scientists even liken the experience to a cocaine rush (via Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology). This is a big part of what makes it so addictive.

In the early-stages of a romantic relationship, the brain is flooded with catecholamines, reports a 2021 study from the International Journal of Research Publication and Reviews. This includes chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine, which can give you a surge of energy and produce feelings of pleasure and exhilaration. They’re responsible for a number of other psychological responses too, such as a racing heart, sweaty palms, and loss of appetite.

The “feel-good” sensations that often go hand-in-hand with falling in love make you want to emotionally connect with and be around the person you desire (via the International Journal of Research Publication and Reviews). But they can also trigger obsessive thoughts and make you feel anxious.

The involvement of the brain’s “reward system” in love plays an important role in mating, suggest researchers (via The Journal of Comparative Neurology). This cycle means that you are more motivated to pursue one another and find a partner to reproduce with, which enhances the survival as human beings.

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